Posada makes history; Yanks keep rolling
Catcher becomes seventh Yankee to hit 20 homers in '09
TORONTO -- Though the final returns on the Yankees' season won't be known for approximately two months, it can now be officially said: This lineup pounds the baseball like none other before it.
Jorge Posada capped a four-RBI night with his 20th home run in New York's 10-5 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, giving the Yankees a franchise-record seven players with 20 or more roundtrippers.
The Bombers' circular offense carried them on a night when spot starter Chad Gaudin couldn't make it through four innings, powering past the Toronto pitching staff and lifting New York to its seventh straight victory.
"I just hope it continues," Posada said. "We are playing good ball, there's no doubt about that. But I think it's what the pitchers are doing. They're giving us a chance to win and staying in the game, not really letting down. I think that's the reason why we're playing the way we are."
With Posada joining the 20-homer party with his two-run shot off reliever Jason Frasor in the ninth inning, the Yankees eclipsed previous franchise records, set in 1961 and 2004. They join the 1996 Orioles, 2000 Blue Jays and 2005 Rangers as the only big league clubs to enjoy such riches.
"I imagine it is fun for these guys," manager Joe Girardi said. "They've all been so productive for us, up and down the lineup. Everyone has contributed, and it seems like every night it's a couple of different people. Jorgie had a huge night for us."
The Yankees were able to provide Gaudin with a quick four-run lead in the first inning, as Hideki Matsui's bases-loaded single scooted on the turf and under the glove of Toronto right fielder Travis Snider for a two-run error.
Posada tacked on a run-scoring single to create the four-run advantage, and Melky Cabrera added a run-scoring two-out single off Ricky Romero in the fourth, driving in Matsui after a pair of bases on balls.
"The home runs are nice, but what I like more are the things that we've been doing lately -- hitting behind runners, drawing walks," said Alex Rodriguez, who homered in the ninth. "There are no easy outs. Home runs are nice, but I like the other stuff."
Rodriguez's night was not without incident. In the fifth inning, he collided with a female police officer while in pursuit of a Lyle Overbay foul pop, earning sarcastic cheers from the crowd of 22,773.
"I'm just glad she didn't read me my rights," Rodriguez said, laughing. "Only me. Oh my God. How embarrassing."
Posada's seventh-inning double moved him past Bob Meusel for sole possession of ninth place in franchise history, with 340. The 38-year-old completed the battering of the Blue Jays' bullpen with a high two-run blast inside the right-field line that scattered the remainder of the crowd.
"He's a vital part of our offense, and he's great behind the plate as well," Derek Jeter said. "He had one of those days where it seemed like he was locked in. Hopefully it lasts for a while."
New York needed all of that production to cover up Gaudin's short outing, as he continues to adjust to a less-predictable role as a long reliever and spot starter after being acquired from the Padres last month.
Appearing in place of Sergio Mitre, who is nursing a bruised right forearm and was pushed back to Sunday, Gaudin blanked the Blue Jays for the first three innings before being chased in the fourth.
Raul Chavez sent the first run home with a bases-loaded single to right field, and Marco Scutaro lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
After Aaron Hill knocked Gaudin out with a single to center, Alfredo Aceves turned in 2 1/3 innings of two-run relief, allowing one unearned run as he logged his Major League-leading 10th win as a reliever.
"I wasn't tiring at all, I was trying to be a little too careful," Gaudin said. "I was trying not to make any big mistakes. I was a little bit erratic, but it's a little hard when you don't know exactly what you're doing. I've got to prepare to do that."
Aceves' outing was briefly interrupted when a fan threw a baseball onto the field, missing him by only a few feet. The Yankees glared into the stands as security removed the offender, and though Aceves shrugged it off -- he said he dodged bottles while pitching in the Mexican League -- Girardi was not amused.
"That's disturbing," Girardi said. "We've had some issues here, but the guy got thrown out and they did the right thing. You just hope that fans are respectful of players. These are human beings that are on the field, and you don't want to hurt anyone. Show your frustration in other ways."
Dave Robertson hurled a scoreless seventh inning, and Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte finished up to help the first-place Yankees win for the 24th time in 30 games, a far cry from their September fade to black on these same grounds in 2008.
"We all remember how tough it was last year," Posada said. "Last year was a sour feeling, sitting at home. I got an early taste of retirement, and I didn't like it. Hopefully I can keep improving and having fun like I am now."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.